Ok, it is New Year’s, so it is time once again for The Great Swami (otherwise known as your slightly cynical Beacon newspaper publisher) to predict what Ottawa County will look like in the year 2023. Just having a little fun, OK?
• January, 2023 – Ottawa County Commissioner Vince Leone, former Mayor of Port Clinton, is sworn in and immediately announces his retirement. He is instantly re-appointed to his full term so he may collect his full pension and his full salary.
The Walleye Drop again draws 10,000 revelers in the Jet Express parking lot just south of the Portage River Drawbridge. Once again, Nashville performers highlight the evening with a few songs, having come from another gala evening at The Listening Room, now located at the rear of Great Lakes Popcorn Company (formerly Mango Mama’s).
•February, 2023 – Ottawa County Auditor Larry Hartlaub announces his resignation, but is immediately re-instated by the Democratic Central Committee. He will collect his full pension plus his salary.
Ageless quarterback Brandon Weedon leads the Cleveland Browns to their 5th straight Super Bowl win over Braxton Miller’s Dallas Cowboys. Coach Josh McDaniel calls it a “win for the ages”!
• March, 2023 – Ottawa County Transportation Director Bill Lowe announces his resignation as head of OCTA. He is re-appointed by the County Commissioners and will receive his full salary plus his full pension. Marblehead Mayor Bernie Kosar objects to the whole thing, but asks only for more public transportation on the Peninsula.
• April, 2023 – Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney Adrian Hines announces her resignation from the post. She is reinstated by the Ottawa County Democratic Central Committee so she can continue to receive here salary plus her pension.
Thanks to the overpopulation of Asian Carp, the walleye population flourishes with big hatches since 2020. It seems that Asian Carp babies are the favorite food of young walleye. Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Don Clemons says that the belief that Asian Carp would be a detriment to the Lake have been proven wrong.
May, 2023 – Port Clinton Mayor Rick Noderer announces his resignation and is immediately re-appointed by the Ottawa County Democratic Central Committee. Mayor Noderer then announces his initiative to develop Waterworks Park and turn it into a parking garage for the ever-growing Jet Express traffic to Put-in-Bay.
In mid month, Waterworks Park is flooded by high water. The homes on Perry Street are saved by the dikes in the marsh put there by former Mayor John Fritz.
June, 2023 – Ottawa County Recorder Virginia Park announces her retirement and says, “This time I mean it!” The County Commissioners decide to close the office and transfer the functions over to the Auditor’s office. The Miller Boat Line christens the SS Julene Market, the first hovercraft on Lake Erie. The 250’ vessel no longer needs a dock and can now pick up passengers at the top of the hills, both on Catawba and South Bass Island. Because it is oblivious to ice, it can now operate ferry service 12 months a year.
• July, 2023 – Ottawa County Treasurer Bob Hille announces his resignation saying “I mean it this time!” Sounds familiar? Darrel Opfer is appointed as new County Treasurer.
The biggest tourism attraction in Ottawa County in 2023 is the Liberty Aviation Museum. Thanks to the expansion of the Port Clinton Airport, the Museum is now home to three B-17s, four B-52s, six Stealth bombers, and 10 F-22s that were mothballed after the fiscal cliff collapse of 2013.
• August, 2023 – Port Clinton Auditor Cole Hatfield announces his resignation, and is instantly reinstated by the Democratic Central Committee so he can continue to collect his salary and his pension.
Thanks in large measure to the heavy rains caused by global climate change, the western basin of Lake Erie is again plagued by giant algae blooms.
Twenty US Navy vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, visit Port Clinton to prepare for the Tall Ships Festival. They came at the request of the Liberty Air Museum.
Catawba’s Ramon Eickert shocks the world winning the 2023 I-LYA Regatta in his Volvo 70, COQUI. On the way back to Port Clinton, COQUI runs aground on the crib off Port Clinton Yacht Club. She is not salvageable.
• September, 2023 – The 2023 Tall Ships Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary, as over 100,000 visitors flock to the Port Clinton waterfront for tours. Lake Erie Shores and Islands Director Debbie Hymore-Tester says that she knew it all the time that this event would be wonderful. Immediately after the Festival, she announces her resignation, which is accepted by her board of directors, who immediately reinstate her into the position so she can collect her pension and salary.
• October, 2023 – Port Clinton Councilwoman Debra Benko announces that she has been in contact with Donald Trump to develop Waterworks Park, but is rebuffed by Mayor Noderer who promises to veto the measure if it is passed by Council. In anger, she resigns from City Council, but is immediately reinstated by the Democratic Central Committee.
• November, 2023 – Chris Redfern wins re-election for a 4th time to serve Ohio’s 9th District in the U.S. Congress. He promises to find a way to re-vitalize the economy that has been in recession since 2013 when the U.S. government drove the country off the fiscal cliff. Before he is to take office, he resigns, but is reinstated by the combined Democratic Central Committees of Lucas, Ottawa, Lorain, Erie and Cuyahoga Counties.
• December, 2023 – Amazingly, no public official in Ottawa County resigns!
Coach Gary Quisno leads the Port Clinton Redskin football team to its first ever Ohio High School Division V State Championship.
If you believe any of this stuff, I have a bridge to sell you in Alaska! Happy New Year! –Swami